In a lot of cases, when I look at issues that I can’t make up my mind on, I’ll sometimes look at who’s standing on which side of the room, and make up my mind by choosing who I’d be more comfy standing with than against.
Today, I’m standing, uncomfortably, with Jeff Jarvis on the recent “indecency tax” passed by the House.
It shouldn’t take much explanation why I’m standing with Jeff; he’s a good guy, we see the world in much the same way (although he’s like a foot taller than I am), and on a fundamental level, I don’t like the idea of some pecksniff fining me out of business because I said a dirty word. And I doubly don’t like the idea of handing the government a tool that could be used to marginalize and criminalize speech…when we’d be told that a modern-day Lenny Bruce is being jailed for swearing, not for challenging the government politically.
So why, exactly, am I uncomfortable?
Because I was listening to Kevin & Bean on KROQ the other morning as I drove Littlest Guy to school. It was Valentine’s Day, and they were taking calls on “the worst Valentine’s Day stories” – a women whose live-in boyfriend had burned down her parent’s house when the candles he set up in their bedroom as a romantic gesture set the room on fire while he was out getting champagne. Very funny stuff indeed…and then they explained that they’d give her a copy of ‘All Anal Action v3′ as a prize, and I quickly shut the radio off and had some ‘splaining to do.
Yes, I can listen to CD’s or NPR when I have the kids in the car.
Yes, there are choices.
But somehow, when I think about this, or the New York DJ’s Opie and Anthony who egged a couple into having sex in a church (where they were arrested), I kind of squirm a bit.
Where’s the bottom? Is the market really the only thing that we can legitimately use to determine where the bottom is?
I don’t know. I do know that I’m damn uncomfortable with much that I see in the mass media today. I’m equally uncomfortable with government censorship.
Are those my only choices?